5 Lessons Before Investing In Art

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5 Lessons Before Investing In Art

Have you ever thought about investing in art? Have you ever wondered how some wealthy families acquire some of history’s most magnificent paintings? Little do people know, you do not need a full understanding of the art market to invest in art, but there are some key principles that you should know.

Lesson 1: Only purchase original works of art.

Original, handmade work will always have the potential to go up in value. Prints made from a machine that have no real connection to the working hands of an artist will likely never go up in value, unless they are in limited edition. Most prints you find both online and in art galleries are not original.  You can view examples of original, one-of-a-kind work here.

Lesson 2: Find an artist with an existing market.

Next, try and find an answer to the following questions: Have other people purchased art from this artist before? How much did they purchase it for? These questions can be difficult to answer, especially because many art galleries do not reveal all this kind of information.

Lesson 3: Find an art broker you can trust.

If an artist has been mentioned in the press, or have had articles written about them, you can be certain they have an existing market. But how do you find a broker? More importantly, how do you find a broker that has the right connections for you and one you can trust? More likely than not, you might be drawn to an art gallery for your first art investment purchase. But art galleries take a whopping commission of 50%!  Before going to art galleries, ask yourself if you want to invest in the art or invest in the art gallery.

Lesson 4: Look for artists with dedication to their craft.

You will want to find an artist who is committed to being an artist. Many make art as a hobby or side job. You’ll want to find an artist with a complete dedication to their craft.

Let’s take the iconic Jean Michel Basquiat for example. An artist creating art with incredible value throughout his life.  When he passed away, his art rose in value faster than any hot stock on any given trading day.  If you can understand where the value of his art came from, then it will start to make sense. This will make investing in art a little bit easier.

Jean Michel Basquiat was homeless at one point, but no matter what happened in his life he continued making art. He gave his life for his art, and it’s this attitude that ultimately creates value.

Lesson 5: Have an eye for originality.

Finally, a key factor to keep in mind is originality.  In today’s market, it’s easy to find something you like, but how do you find value? You want an artist that is producing captivating work with a style of their own. Collaborations between artists add to originality. Just imagine the value of an original painting that was created by two famous artists in collaboration. How much do you think that painting would be worth? If you’re someone with a large following, have you considered commissioning art? How about reselling? 

So let’s re-cap.

When looking to invest in art, you should look to the four lessons we discussed above.

These are the ingredients for a solid start in art investing. Investing in art does not need to be expensive either. If you’re just getting started, remember to start small.

Imagine you were living the 1960’s, and you happened to buy an Andy Warhol painting. During this time, his name may not have been worth all that much. He was one talented artist out of the many out there. You could buy one of his works for around $2,000. If you owned that same piece today it would be worth millions.

Like a fine wine, Art takes time to increase in value. When investing, remember to play the long game. Buy and hold. Remember that many of the biggest art sales were family heirlooms. Take time to research and invest in something that you love.

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